I’ll try not to be too negative but realistically does this shuffle matter? It’s not hard to see why those in the SNP group are disappointed, there’s not even a failed strategy to point to – in effect there never was a strategy to fail.
Ian Blackford has been in with the Westminster furniture that long, the predictable faux outrage, the bore-fest questions, the fake “aha” moments.
The underwhelming speaker and the underwhelming chair occupier of the third party having theatrical disputes, likely rehearsed before hand, wink wink, nod nod.
I struggle to figure out what we’re losing, the mighty SNP MPs sent to Westminster to “settle up not settle down”, seem to have gone meekly into the night. I think we once or twice got an expulsion – and a one time walkout to send some heat back to the Scottish papers.
What do we achieve down there? What’s moved the needle? The polls are stagnated right where 2015 left them. What message has been sent? What was Blackfords leadership giving us?
What do the millions of pounds worth of staff, offices and accommodation achieve? Let’s take a look at last week alone:
David Linden took a picture of his pile of letters, on top is a written paper response to an online survey.
Tweeting it out proudly. In reality the tax payer picks up the bill for the photo stunt. First class postage obviously rather than the quick online form.
Could we not have used the entire SNP MP postage budget (circa £6k a year each) and asked every constituent to give us their view on independence, sending the prepaid envelope results straight to Downing Street or the monarch?
Sure it’s against the rules, but what will they do? Kick you out? What progress would be lost?
Onto another “Stronger for Scotland” warrior. Stewart McDonald, here being presented an award from the party leader.
Presumably for never straying once from party lines, even ones in direct contradiction to the week before. Always loyally cheering on the absolute glacial pace of movement by the Scottish Government and the Westminster nodding dog society.
In fairness there are some exceptions, Philippa Whitford puts in an incredible Parliamentary shift and occasionally heads home in down time to aid the NHS. Joanna Cherry KC got that bored with lack of parliamentary action she took the government to court and booted them back into shape with a decisive win. Douglas Chapman roams around every open door of ambassadors, home and abroad, trying to either build support for independence recognition, or plug in a ferry route making new trade possibilities.
However the latter are all self starters – none of this was a Blackford strategy or idea. None of it was driven or demanded.
So I’m left looking for the impact of the Blackford leadership, I’m looking for what we’ve lost, and I find very little. At school more than a decade ago I got forced to sit and listen to pontifications by boring old men in suits about god and the religious world, I became an atheist. Blackford much like Robertson before him was an utter chore, listening was painful and the output was nil.
He’s gone, off to join the other ex “grandees” – I wonder what the follow up to the mighty horse box of independence that Michael Russell trotted about with will be with Blackfords new independence focussed role.
However I’m left thinking, off he goes, big whoop.